Atlanta blogger talks "white parents", "black schools"

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The headline ignited a debate.

"Why White Parents Won't Choose Black Schools". That was the title of a Huffington Post column written by a resident of metro Atlanta: blogger Abby Norman.

Her daughter, Norman says, is "the only white child in the entire kindergarten" at her DeKalb County school.

This is the case despite an influx of white families in Norman's neighborhood -- but those families won't use its public school. Norman's article called out those parents, saying they shield their children from majority-minority schools because of "socio-economic, class-based, race-based fear."

Here is a fragment of Norman's piece:

Though my daughter is not the only white kindergartner in my neighborhood, she is the only white kindergartner in her class. My new neighbors, ones who come into the neighborhood raving about how much they love it, do not send their kids to the school. While they love my neighborhood, they do not love my school.

A friend and I were recently chatting about her move to the neighborhood next to mine. I was surprised that she didn't even look across the dividing line road we live about two blocks from. She shrugged her shoulders, "yeah, I really like your house but our real estate agent said we shouldn't even look there because of the schools." Because of the schools. The school I send my daughter to. She did not look at the houses with more square footage and a smaller price tag because someone who has never been in the school doesn't find it suitable.

"If all the parents with all the resources take their kids and move them somewhere else," Norman told 11Alive's Matt Pearl, "then how are you going to expect that school to get better?"

Norman's column has gone viral, and she has received some nasty responses.

"I had a lot of people e-mail me to tell me my kids were in danger," she said, "because the other students, the other kids in her class, are going to hurt her -- because they're black."

In the end, Norman says, "Parents need to make whatever choices they're going to make. But they should not be making those choices based on fear."

Check out Norman's column here, and then join the discussion on 11Alive's and Matt Pearl's Facebook pages.


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